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Quality Digest


Exact Metrology Trains the Next Generation of Workers

Biggest challenge is not finding people to work, but those with enough knowledge to operate the equipment

Published: Wednesday, December 21, 2022 - 13:00

(Exact Metrology: Cincinnati) -- Exact Metrology, a division of In-Place Machining Co. and a comprehensive 3D metrology service provider and hardware sales company, provides extensive training to both customers and operators ranging from basic to advanced operations.

Dean Solberg, vice president of metrology at Exact Metrology, believes there are several challenges facing the industry today. With the older workforce retiring, finding new workers to take their place is no longer the main problem; it’s about finding people who want to work and have the necessary skills for the job.

When detailing training, Solberg mentions that they provide customers “everything from basic operation of the equipment we offer for sale all the way to high-level programming and operation of the equipment/software we sell.” Additional training options include DMIS, PolyWorks, Geomagic Design X, and Geomagic Wrap. Training is available for the operation of anything from handheld metrology (Artec) to CT systems, geospatial systems, laser trackers, and arms.

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Scanning with the GOM CT

The company frequently partners with educational institutions, being present at career fairs and visiting colleges. It recently held a trade fair with the Milwaukee School of Engineering, presenting the latest in scanning technology to a consortium the school drives for additive manufacturing. The consortium is funded by a group of larger manufacturers based in Wisconsin.

According to Solberg, the biggest challenge the company faces is “finding people with enough knowledge and understanding to operate the equipment.” He adds that in their “classroom” environment, there are plateaus of knowledge. Thus, attendees with advanced skills get bored moving at a pace for the less knowledgeable. All training is in-person and dedicated to the customer.

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Exact Metrology personnel discussing the technology

While training hasn’t changed much in the last few years, Solberg finds that many manufacturers of equipment are trying to simplify the software they offer in order to appeal to lower skilled operators. He states that the wage issue drives a lot of the lower level operators, saying, “You can’t afford to hire a scanner operator and pay them $30/hour. So you dumb the operation of the software down and hire a $20/hour operator."

Regarding the future, the metrology industry follows the trends of the machine tool business (although metrology is about 10 years behind). However, Solberg is optimistic.

“You are now beginning to see more automation in the metrology field with more coming every day,” he says. “An example is cobots, even robotically loaded CMM and CT scanners. Plus, you’re seeing more GO/NO GO gauges on the shop floor.” He concludes that as time progresses, there will be more process control tools on the shop floor, making quality more predictive than reactive.


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